SUNNYVALE, Calif. — Advanced Micro Devices Inc., Intel Corp.'s biggest rival in the microprocessor market, suffered a major blow Wednesday with the resignation of President and Chief Operating Officer Atiq Raza, heir apparent to Chief Executive Jerry Sanders.
Raza said he's leaving for personal reasons and will end his career at AMD on Friday. Sanders will become acting COO, president and chief technical officer. Raza, one of AMD's best technical minds, also left the company's board of directors.
Raza's departure comes at a tough time for AMD, which has lost money in six of the last eight quarters because of price cuts by Intel and its own production problems.
"It's certainly going to reduce confidence in the company's ability to compete," said Linley Gwennap, chief analyst at Sebastopol, Calif.-based Cahners MicroDesign Resources. "Atiq was the one guy in upper management that really understood the technology behind the K6 and K7," AMD's two major microprocessor product lines.